They are the arms of Queen Anne, dated 1711. You can tell that it dates from after the union of England and Scotland in 1707 because the impaled arms of Scotland and England appear in the first and fourth quarters, with France in the second quarter and Ireland in the third.
However, expert opinion says that the way in which the panel containing the royal motto scrolls up to support the feet of the lion and the unicorn means that it is probably a board from the reign of Charles II, which has been altered to suit Anne’s reign. So it may be older than was thought.
The artist was certainly not a linguist, because he has made two mistakes.
The royal motto is written as “DIEVIT MON DROIT”
The motto on the belt reads “HONI SOIT QUI Y MAL PENSE”
However, it is not the misspelling of the royal motto that is important; it is the fact that it appears on a board that claims to be from Queen Anne’s reign, for this motto seldom, if ever, appeared on the arms of Queen Anne. They usually bore the motto “SEMPER EADEM” (always the same) which had been the personal motto of Elizabeth I. So it looks as though the arms of Queen Ann were painted onto a Stuart board.
Coat of Arms:
Over the south door there is the royal coat of arms. There are a number of interesting things to note about them.
The right imagie shows the sanctus window as viewed from the Nave. The left image shows the view through the sanctus from the ringing chamber.
The Sanctus Window:
The Sanctus window is a little window in the wall of the ringing chamber of the tower which is located so that someone standing in the middle of the ringing chamber can look directly at the high altar. This enabled the Sanctus bell to be rung at the exact moment of the elevation of the Host.
Such windows are fairly rare, but that at Swanton Morley is very unusual indeed because it is so small.
If you stand in the nave and look back above the tower arch you can see the unusual Sanctus Window.
However, in contrast there is only a very small clerestory. The bases of the piers in the arcade are quite tall indicating that they were designed for a church with seating. They also have a complicated, asymmetrical cross-section which must have been very advanced for its time.
The great height of the nave is very impressive for a parish church and the two arcades that separate the nave from the aisles are very elegant.
Page Updated: 26/07/10
Features of All Saints' Church Swanton Morley
Features of the Nave
All Saints' Church